Monday, October 08, 2007

Enchantment, with a small curse here and there

I was going to post these things yesterday, but after losing the camera I just couldn't bring myself to put something together without the pictures I had taken (so I have use pics I got off the net). Oh well, life must go on. I just finished a big project, and was going to use the payment for it to upgrade some software which needs it -- now I will have to spend nearly that much replacing the camera -- and will still need to upgrade the software. Like Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, "It just goes to show you, it's always something."

We were on a day trip on Saturday, headed toward Fredericksburg, when I saw a lot of very unusual sculptures out in a field so I had to see what they were. Right there on a ranch on Hwy. 290, was a massive art gallery and studio belonging to Johann and Kristin Eyfells. Kristin had passed away a few years back, but her husband had kept her spirit alive in that place, I nearly felt that she was still there. Both were artists originally from Iceland and having previously lived in Florida. It took 5 months and 18 trucks to transport their works (the sculptures were very large metal, stone, wood constructions) from Iceland, Florida and England to this ranch ~4 years ago.

Tribute to Kristin.

Johann Eyfells is now 84 years old, but he was still hard at work, and still very sharp. He stopped what he was doing and showed us around his studio, talked about the various sculptures, and we all spent some quality time looking through Kirstin's paintings. There was a photographic portrait of her, framed but sitting on the floor against the wall in the gallery. He said it was by Jerry Uelsmann. I was stunned, Uelsmann was one of my artistic idols back in high school/college. He said that Jerry Uelsmann was a friend of theirs. Visit Uelsmann's site here. It was a real pleasure visiting that place.

Johann and Kristin Eyfells Foundation website. Lots of information there, including map. I should caution that email will not be a good way to get hold of Johann. He is not an email person himself.

After the Eyfells Ranch, the day was rather downhill. We stopped by Wild Seed Farms, which had been really built up in my mind, but as it turns out we like our own Natural Gardener (warning: website makes a sound) every bit as much. Wild Seed had a lot more of the "gift shop" frills that neither of us are interested in. A stop in Fredericksburg for lunch, and got back on the road for Enchanted Rock. I had never been there, and figured it was about time. We can blame Google Maps for the bad directions, which led to arguments and a fresh tension headache for me. As we were headed down the wrong road for the second time, we saw a BIG turtle in the road. It was right smack in the middle of the opposite lane, and I was able to run back and rescue it. It was OK but probably had been through the recent trauma of having a car drive over it, because all its appendages were tucked in. I'd say the shell was about 10-12 inches long, and after looking up turtles (SOOOO much more pleasant than looking up spiders, esp. for an arachnophobe like me), I am thinking it was a Texas Cooter. (who thinks up these names? That's the second-funniest turtle name I've heard after "Stinkpot")

It was late afternoon when we finally found the place, after calling them and waiting on hold for what seems like a half hour, and it was now the heat of the day, I was all tuckered out after the arguments and my fresh headache, so I was in no shape to venture very far up a slanty rock. I don't do that well going up inclines even at peak performance and well-rested. What was I thinking??? So I beat myself up pretty good about that for awhile -- then on Sunday we discovered that somehow the camera had been left there.

But... we saved a Texas Cooter Turtle from certain death, were given a special tour of the Eyfells Gallery that we won't soon forget, and got back home sweet Austin right at sundown. I don't leave these city limits much, it's due to lack of funds plus too much work and responsibility, but when I do it's always good to get back.

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Ingrid said...

wow what a neat surprising adventure. And how neat to find a common link when you met Johann. I always admire people who are so 'themselves'. They have their own ways, pursue their own dreams and calling inspite of all the materialism around us..
I'll have to make a note to self and keep that for a future trip for us..
and yes, I like the Natural Gardener as well. Not too much of the frilly things and just the basics of what is important

Nava said...

Fascinating art!

MichaelBains said...

Very cool find, though I'm sorry ya lost your cam at the Enchanted Rock.